Book Title: Caledon
Series: Caledon (Book One)
Author: Virginia Crow
Publication Date:22nd January 2019
Page Length: 180 (A4 size) – the book is approx. 80,000 words
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"Go out and tell all those you meet, Caledon has risen. Caledon will be protected and defended. And to you who would cause her harm, be prepared. A new fight has come."
After the destruction of the Jacobite forces at Culloden, Scotland is divided, vulnerable and leaderless, with survivors from both sides seeking to make sense of the battles they have fought against their fellow Scots.
James Og flees Drumossie, seeking the protection of his uncle's house in Sutherland. It is here that James learns that the Northern Highlands hold a secret power only he can wield: Caledon. When Ensign John Mackay begins hunting Og's family, James realises he must harness this power to defeat the enemies of Scotland.
But, as the ageless Caledon awakes, so too does an ancient evil. When it allies with Mackay, the small Clan of Caledon faces enemies at every turn, discovering that even those closest to them may seek to destroy them.
“Then we have five.” James turned to where Annie opened the door to the range at the end of the house. “What have you to say, Annie?”
“I?” she demanded, closing the door before sucking her burnt fingers and cursing the men before her for causing her to lose her concentration. “I have nothing more to add than that you are fools. All of you.”
“Then you won’t join us?”
“Jamie,” Donald said quickly, but stopped as Annie replied.
“I am tired of Caledon. I am tired of battle. I am the widow of a baker. A man who thought he could raise arms in support of his dream of Caledon. He died in his first combat. Caledon is a doomed cause. You are fools to follow it.”
“I can’t make you,” James began, unsure how to persuade her but knowing that he needed her in his small clan. Perhaps William understood these thoughts for he rose to his feet and kissed her burnt fingers which caused a flash of jealousy on Donnie’s face.
“You do know why Caledon needs you, don’t you, Annie?” William said softly. “Because no one else can keep that clumsy oaf safe. We can tell him what to do, to stay quiet, to avoid known dangers. But you truly are the only one who can protect him.”
“Donald Mackenzie,” Annie began, tears blooming in her eyes. “What would your father say?”
Donnie shook his head. “Father died for Caledon, Annie.”
“Do you know how your father died?”
James stiffened at her words but Donnie only shook his head again. “John Mackay killed him, and I shall not stop until he has paid for it. While Mary wishes to marry him as punishment, I am inclined to think he deserves something worse.”
Annie nodded slightly and gave a heavy sigh. “I shall regret this in the end, I know. But how can I trust the five of you? You,” she pointed to Jamie. “You shall answer to me, James Og, if any harm befalls any one of them. MacBeath is little more than a child; Murray is as weakened as an infant; you,” she continued, pulling her hand from William. “Are as sweet tongued as a bee. And James Og, any harm you wrought to these men I shall repay on you fivefold.”
“Then you shall join us?” James asked eagerly.
“What choice do you believe I have? I shall have to protect you all, for you have proved you cannot protect yourselves.”
“You’ll be an outlaw, Annie,” Donald began, unsure he wanted her to commit her life to the cause as blindly as he had done.
“I am a Mackenzie, Donnie,” she said, kneeling down beside him. “I am already regarded with mistrust by people.”
“Then we have a duty in the north which we must attend to,” James announced, feeling the new purpose drop into his head, and ignoring the exchange between Annie and his cousin. “On the coast. The moment Malcolm is able we shall journey there. In the meantime, I have a wedding to attend, which I would not miss for the world.”
Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together. She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the book!
When she's not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John o' Groats Book Festival which is celebrating its 4th year.
She now lives in the far-flung corner of Scotland. A doting spaniel-owner to Orlando and Jess, Virginia soaks up in inspiration from the landscape as she ventures out with her canine companions.
She loves cheese, music, and films, but hates mushrooms.
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Amazon Author Page:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Virginia-Crow/e/B078QBNYFB/